When Your Power Goes Out, a Squirrel is Likely to Blame… Here’s Why

Tabinda Aziz

Squirrel eating a nutWhen the clocks on your electronic devices are flashing, you know two things — the electricity supply was disrupted and, depending on where you live, you can probably blame squirrels.

The small animals are responsible for up to two-thirds of the power outages at some utilities.

Annie Copley knows all about it.

She lives on Sprincrest Street, an older neighborhood in Anytown with lots of big trees and exposed overhead wires. That is exactly the combination that leads to a lot of power interruptions caused by squirrels that love to run, jump and live among trees — and scamper along the wires.

“On Sprincrest Street, I am telling you, we lose power so often,” Copley says. “The power is always an issue.”

Digital clocks on the microwave and stove must be reset at least 3 times a week in Copley’s house. At least 3 power outages lasting 4 hours or longer have hit Springcrest Street since Copley moved there in April. The power supply always seems tentative.

“It flickers all the time,” Copley says.

While squirrels are responsible for most of the power outages caused by animals, raccoons and birds are also to blame.

Paul Haney lives on Sunnyside Street, not far from Copley’s house, and his electricity supply is constantly interrupted.

“This is not an exaggeration — the power goes out every day in our house,” Chris Haney says. “I know we had a bird fry a power box once.”